Objective: To evaluate the effect of applied relaxation and electro-acupuncture on vasomotor symptoms in women treated for breast cancer.
Methods: Thirty-eight postmenopausal women with breast cancer and vasomotor symptoms were randomized to treatment with electro-acupuncture (n = 19) or applied relaxation (n = 19) during 12 weeks. The number of hot flushes was registered daily in a logbook before and during treatment and after 3 and 6 months of follow-up.
Results: Thirty-one women completed 12 weeks of treatment and 6 months of follow-up. After 12 weeks of applied relaxation, the number of flushes/24 h had decreased from 9.2 (95% confidence interval (CI) 6.6-11.9) at baseline to 4.5 (95% CI 3.2-5.8) and to 3.9 (95% CI 1.8-6.0) at 6 months follow-up (n = 14). The flushes/24 h were reduced from 8.4 (95% CI 6.6-10.2) to 4.1 (95% CI 3.0-5.2) after 12 weeks of treatment with electro-acupuncture and to 3.5 (95% CI 1.7-5.3) after 6 months follow-up (n = 17). In both groups, the mean Kupperman Index score was significantly reduced after treatment and remained unchanged 6 months after end of treatment.
Conclusion: We suggest that applied relaxation and electro-acupuncture should be further evaluated as possible treatments for vasomotor symptoms in postmenopausal women with breast cancer.